Good news, pocket photographers: Your mobile device just became a much more powerful camera thanks to a new update to Lightroom Mobile. The app for iOS and Android now supports RAW HDR capture on newer devices, including the iPhone 6s and above, as well as the iPad Pro 9.7-inch; on Android, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Google Pixel users can join in the fun.
Why would you want this if your phone already shoots HDR images with the basic camera app? Because RAW files preserve a lot more information about light and color captured in an image, and Lighroom’s built-in camera snaps a group of three automatically, including one it considers overexposed, an underexposed version, and one right in the middle where it deems exposure balanced overall.
Most JPG HDR captures on devices grab only two images, and the JPG compression also means you lose a ton of the image data that’s captured right away, meaning any resulting edits are going to look a lot more processes and a lot less natural.
If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, the resulting RAW files will be automatically synced to the desktop, in case you prefer to shoot on iPhone and then do your edits on the desktop later on. You can also export your full original RAW files to your iOS image album, so that you can later shuttle them off to other apps for additional edits, or download them to your computer if you don’t have Creative Cloud for wireless syncing.
Lightroom on mobile continues to gain features that make it a powerful complement to the desktop, and even a capable replacement for photographers who’d rather not be tied to their computer for edits while on the go. These updates boost its capabilities even further, making for a mobile shooting experience that may just convince even more pros and enthusiasts to leave the dedicated camera at home.